Google just released a wonderful phone ad. Sadly, it's not for the Pixel 6

You have to wonder why Google's newfound emphasis on marketing hasn't entirely embraced its newest phone.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

It won't judge you if you have extra fingers.

Screenshot by ZDNet

Companies are people too. They have minds. They have thoughts. They make decisions.

And, just like people, you have to wonder what goes through those minds sometimes.

Today's patient on the purple chaise-longue is Google.

It's occasionally believed in marketing. More often, it's believed in making absurd amounts of money from advertising.

Yet here is Google launching what many believe is its most important piece of hardware ever -- the Pixel 6.

And here is Google releasing a witty, arresting phone ad -- but not for the Pixel 6.

Instead, it's an ad supporting the Pixel 5a. It's an ad that patently mocks LG. It's an ad that claims there are 113 reasons to switch to Pixel. And it's a whole lot of fun.

It seems there are, indeed, so many reasons to switch to Pixel, "when the maker of your old phone stops making phones."

Sample: "It has an X in the name and everyone knows X is cool." (iPhone X-ess, anyone?)

How about: "When you say Pixel, people will think you said pickle and they'll give you one."

I did adore: "It has an ultra-wide camera, so you can get an ultra-great selfie, even if your arms are short."

The ad blends serious benefits with serious amusement. It is infused with a wry, witty energy.

The whole thing is an absolute delight. This makes me wonder what happened with Google's launch ad for the Pixel 6.

Did I mention it's the phone that's supposed to make Google a true competitor to Samsung and all the other Android pretenders?

Have you seen the Pixel 6 ad? Do you remember anything about it? Anything at all?

Well, here's the longer version. It begins: "Meet the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The first-ever all-Google phone, built completely different."

As we're hearing this, we're seeing pictures of the phone and fetching young people using the phone. What's different about that? It could be an ad for just about any phone or, indeed, anything at all.

The phone may be built differently, but the sell is built familiar.

"A phone that's built for you," declares the ad. As if all the other phones in the world were built for everyone else but you. Or, perhaps, for no one at all.

"It all works the way you want it to," muses the voice. Oh, now I'm inspired.

And so we see more and more young people doing nice, energetic, wholesome young people things.

But wait, I hear you sniff. This is just a long, explainer ad. Surely the shorter ones are more exciting.

Well, yes, I sniff back. Here's an ad selling the Pixel 6 camera and its alleged greater accuracy with skin tones. It's nice, it's warm, but shouldn't the launch of such a seminal phone deserve a little more than nice and warm?

Shouldn't the company be using the creative talents clearly at its disposal to make this phone feel genuinely different, important and even inspiring by offering ads that are the same?

Couldn't Google have, perhaps, used wit and charm far beyond the somewhat obvious, lifestyle-peddling wall-covering it's so far emitted?

If your phone is supposed to be memorable, make the message memorable too.

I'm not sure that's happened.

Google Pixel 6

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